Behind Elounda’s Luxury Jet Set
S o much more than just a coveted Cretan destination, the area surrounding Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection holds myriad surprises just waiting to be discovered.
Located in Easter Crete, north of Agios Nikolaos and south of the seaside resort of Plaka, Elounda was once a picturesque fishing village in the lovely Mirabello Bay which has blossomed into a globally recognized luxury destination known for its exclusive resorts and jet set lifestyle, providing the perfect location for the sophisticated Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection and soon-to-be- Domes Resorts & Reserves Elounda Blu can be found at vibrant nearby Agios Nikolaos. Yet, there is a side to Elounda that many don’t get to see, offering an authentic glimpse into the island’s tumultuous and constantly changing history, along with its time-honored traditions and the customs and lifestyles of its people. Explore these local attractions to find the keys to unlocking this rich world:
- Olous, the earliest recorded settlement on top of which Elounda is built today.
- Picturesque Agios Nikolaos with its cosmopolitan atmosphere is filled with restaurants and cafes. People have lived here for over 5 millennia, as it was first inhabited circa 3,000 BC.
- Agios Nikolaos’ outstanding marina, which is awarded a Blue Flag every year for its clear waters.
- The beautiful abandoned village of Havgas with its panoramic views over the perfectly shaped bay.
- The villages of Kasteli and Fourni, almost untouched by time.
- Kritsa, a stunning traditional village with a modern twist built amphitheatrically on the hill and surrounded by olive groves, was the location of Jules Dassin’s film “He Who Must Die,” based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel “Christ Recrucified.” It’s less than half an hour from Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection and future Domes Resorts & Reserves addition, Elounda Blu.
- The restored Holy Monastery of Areti with its immaculate gardens, which dates back to the years of the Venetian rule on the island (around 1200 AD).
- The lagoon-like bay of Elounda with its boats that rock entrancingly on the calm waters.
- The picturesque fishing village of Plaka, opposite Spinalonga.
- Across the water from Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, the eerie and scenic islet of Spinalonga is filled with stories from the past, with Victoria Hislop’s novel “The Island” – which was adapted into a popular TV series – taking place here.
- Mirabello Bay means “Look! Beautiful!” – as the Venetians exclaimed as soon as they saw it.
- The dreamy beaches located north and northwest of Agios Nikolaos, just a stone’s throw from Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection.
- Lake Voulismeni at the center of Agios Nikolaos.